‘Serve God with great love and liberty of mind.’ (Mary Ward)
‘Our loving Father looks at our every thought, word and deed and gives us all we need to do his Will.’ (Teresa Ball)
In the twenty first century, we might ask ourselves: what is mission? Is it crossing the seas? Is it doing something heroic? Is it doing something for others? Is it being busy round the clock?
Mission is actualizing the reign or Kingdom of God on earth. It is about accomplishing the will of God here and now by being and doing. Mission is where our feet are, for the Kingdom of God is in our midst. It is incarnating ourselves to transform the world by being a catalyst or yeast for transformation. It is being the living exegesis of the word of God. It is the self-emptying love for others.
Today we are called to move from mission ad gentes i.e., mission for the people to mission inter gentes i.e., mission among or with the people. We need to reflect together with the people of God in order to discover what their actual needs are, so as to answer to them effectively.
For us to be effective in mission we need first an open mind, that is a disposition to listen intelligently to what we are hearing or seeing. However, the voice of judgement can block our minds by stopping us from being creative and present to others.
Secondly, we need an open heart, which is the ability to empathize with others, be in touch with our emotions and tune into different contexts. The voice of cynicism can block an open heart by making us distant emotionally and losing our vulnerability.
Thirdly, we need an open will, which is the capacity to be in touch with our authentic purpose and self in order to let go and let new life come. The voice of fear can block our willingness to let go and to give up our security.
In my day-to-day life, mission is about discerning what the will of God is, and doing it to my level best – not focusing on success but on pleasing God. It is finding God in all I do and in the people I meet. It is about discovering my giftedness and seeing how and where I can apply my gifts best and also accept my limitations. It is not something out there but the reality of everyday.
What is my understanding of mission? Which attitude or attitudes do I need to change in order to be more effective in mission?
Sr Rosaline Ng’ang’a IBVM – Zambia